FCC May Decide LPFM and FM Translator Application Questions

Only one item is on the docket for the FCC’s November 30 Open Meeting, but it is a significant one: new opportunities for low power radio and how that will intersect with existing translator applications.

The Local Community Radio Act, signed into law by President Obama in January 2011, opened the doors for new LPFM stations. However, thousands of FM translator applications have been pending for almost a decade on radio frequencies that many in the LPFM community would like to move into, particularly in urban areas.

The FCC has not yet released the details of the plan to be considered by Commissioners at that meeting, but the agency’s press release declares, “The consideration of these items will represent the final steps toward enabling non-profit groups nationwide to apply for low power radio licenses to further expand the diversity of local voices in the media landscape.” In addition to contention over a potential cap on translator applications to be processed, the issues of second adjacent channel waiver procedures and interference remediation requirements are also likely to highlight the meeting.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations


Published: November 16, 2012